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In The Crowd

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Google Maps API


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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pride celebration

This being my first year in San Francisco, I felt obligated to support my fellow citizens in the Pride celebrations last weekend. Unfortunately I missed the tranny parade on Friday, but on Saturday I staked out a great spot at a friend's window for the Dyke March. It started off with a roar, literally. At the head of the parade (and a good ten minutes ahead of anyone else) was Dykes On Bikes, hundreds of women on choppers, scooters, anything two-wheeled and motorized. After that came the rest of the crowd, thousands of women marching (well, walking quickly) down the street. Some were bare chested, others costumed, but for the most part it was just a show of strength in numbers. mUnfortunately it was also pretty cold, so the turn out was maybe not what the organizers had hoped for, but still it was fun to watch.

Sunday was the main Pride Parade, I got a bit of a late start due to the strong margaritas the night before. Still, I made it to the end of the route just as the first marchers (the Gay Cheer squad) came by. There was a huge crowd there to see it, but it was nothing compared to how many people must have been in that parade. I stood and watched it for two and a half hours until I gave up and went in search of food. The floats and costumes reminded me of Santa Barbara's Soltice celebrations a bit, but what really amazed me wasn't the costumes or routines. It was the corporate floats and the politicians. Anyone who wanted the dollars or votes of the gay community was out in force, including the mayor who gladhanded the crowd while his supporters wore pink shirts and waved placards. Despite the fervent prayers of many I'm sure, Gavin was still straight last time I checked. It got so that you couldn't tell who was celebrating their gay identity and who was just there for the publicity. Apparently this phenomenon has spawned a kind of fringe parade, the Gay Shame parade. Their manifesto is worth reading and describes the atmosphere of the main parade better than I could.

On my way back home from the parade I wandered through the Hayes Valley and stopped at the beautiful sculpture in Hayes Green. It's a temporary installation, it'll be dismantled in September when all the road work involved in building the new Octavia Blvd project is completed. Go see it, it's worth it.


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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Want to be a food critic?

Now you can be. I'd be all over this if it didn't involve: a. cameras, or b. broadcasting. For those of you who don't share my reluctance to be filmed and displayed on television, go for it. This could be the start of your foodie empire, after all.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Odeo is officially in beta! This is Evan's attempt to make a business out of podcasting, kind of an RSS feed for audioblogging. I just received my invite today, I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh, and they're hiring.


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In review

Looks like Foundcity (previously mentioned here) is finally available for SF. Not too many tags yet, which I see as a good sign. Better than being flooded with tags of dubious value.

In other news, I signed up for Dodgeball (originally discussed here), but apparently nobody else I know has. Ahem.


  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Ian said…

    I just signed up for both, my dodgeball username is gingerprince. Now I just have to work out to set up my nokia to send email.

  • At 4:29 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    Excellent! I just added you. If anyone else wants to add me, I'm the only Alicia in SF.

  • At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Shoshie said…

    Do you know WHY I'm not signed up? Because, one, I live in an overpriced postcard which is insulated from the likes of techno-cool, and two, Grellan scares me. Seriously, who the fuck is named Grellan?? It's some sort of crazy messed up werewolf-lit name, I tell you.


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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

I broke from my usual Father's Day routine of hiding in my room listening to music that makes me cry, and instead invited Ian and Sheena to head out to Stern Grove to...well, listen to music that makes me cry. Specifically, today's concert was John Doe (best known for being part of X, one of my favorite bands growing up) and Lucinda Williams. The place was packed, I was lucky to find a place to sit way up on the slippery hillside behind the trees, but the acoustics were still great.

It was such a gorgeous day, perfect for sitting in a eucalyptus grove and listening to sad/angry/sweet songs with happy people all around. A good analogy for her bittersweet music I think.


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Friday, June 17, 2005

FM radio

I have a soft spot for radio, having grown up in the era of true AOR radio when DJs had free rein to play any track they wanted their listeners to hear. At its best it's like a good mix tape that never ends. In recent years with the consolidation in the industry and an emphasis on carefully researched, canned programming I'd all but given up on radio. That's why I was excited to find the Guide To Bay Area Radio That Doesn't Suck. There are three pirate stations? Good to know.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Working up an appetite

This article in the Guardian gave me an idea. Why couldn't you throw a very abbreviated version of The Game, culminating in a dinner party in an odd location? It sounds like fun to me. Logistics are going to be a bitch, but that's the price you have to pay.

Who's in?


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Thursday, June 09, 2005

To the women of San Francisco

We're all excited that summer is finally here. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and you can finally wear the new skirts and sandals you've been hoarding since March. Forget the A-line, this season is all about pretty flowing circle skirts, lightweight cottons with a gypsy flair that swish around your ankles. It's different, it's fun, and you've embraced the new style with enthusiastic abandon. You probably don't remember the last time this kind of skirt was in fashion, it was in the mid-1980's and that's a good twenty years ago now. But I remember, and there are just a few things that I'd like to point out.

1. San Francisco is windier than most cities. We get cold northwest winds from the Pacific, warmer Diablo foehn winds from the East Bay, day time onshore winds, night time offshore winds, etc. Suffice to say that a windbreaker is never a bad idea.

2. Flimsy cotton is very lightweight, it swirls and flows with even the slightest movement. That's why you like it, right? So feminine.

3. Those loose peasant-style skirts are made from yards and yards of fabric, usually two full circles of fabric that are split on a radius and sewn together to produce endless folds.

Which brings me to my point. There is one distinct disadvantage that these skirts have, one sadly discovered too late by the woman with the black cotton high cut briefs walking down 21st towards Folsom at 5:35 pm, or the woman in the adorable white bikinis with tiny blue flowers at 18th and Valencia at 5:40 pm, or the teenager in the bright yellow tanga with red trim at 18th and Church at 5:43 pm. London and France, ladies.

London and France.


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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Kottke's challenge

In answer to Jason Kottke's challenge today, here are the non-english languages in my music collection (or at least in the digitized part of my collection, I didn't dig through the cassettes in storage). Interestingly, if you removed one CD from my collection it would almost halve the number of languages represented.

Spanish: Calexico, Celia Cruz, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Lhasa, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Machito, Manu Chao, Mano Negra, Eliades Ochoa, Ozomatli, Pepe & The Bottle Blondes, Mercedes Sosa, Buena Vista Social Club

Portuguese: Margareth Menezes, Maria Bethãnia, Caetano Veloso, Beth Carvalho, Elba Ramalho, Agepé

French: 3 Mustaphas 3, Les Negresses Verte, Serge Gainsbourg, Air, Mano Negra

Welsh: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

Galego: Manu Chao

Xhosa: Miriam Makeba

Bengali: Peter Brook's Mahabharata soundtrack

Icelandic: Sigur Rós, Sugarcubes

Italian: Louis Prima, Cecilia Bartoli

German: Kilim, Schönberg, KMFDM

Yiddish: The Klezmatics, Les Yeux Noir

Rom: 3 Mustaphas 3, Les Yeux Noir

Indonesian: 3 Mustaphas 3

Serbian: 3 Mustaphas 3

Greek: 3 Mustaphas 3

Albanian: 3 Mustaphas 3

Arabic: 3 Mustaphas 3, Mano Negra

Turkish: 3 Mustaphas 3

Hebrew: 3 Mustaphas 3

And a special mention goes to:

Humpback: Song of the Humpback Whale (not only non-English, but non-human!)


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Monday, June 06, 2005


Is there a finer word in the world of competitive sport? Doesn't it just get your heart pounding and your blood racing? I just discovered the existence of the Craft Corner Deathmatch, the only show to combine my love of blood sport with my love of DIY. It's an Iron Chef-style show produced by the same people behind The Daily Show, according to the women of Craftster.

I want to be in the audience and trash talk the Craft Lady Of Steel. "My grandma's dryer lint is a better scarf than that! Yeah, I'm talking to you, Craft Lady!" I wonder if she'd kick me in the shins with her hand-tooled steel toes.


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Cinema Paradiso in the park

Another movie in the park night on Saturday, this one in North Beach's Washington Square Park. It's a great spot for it, you're right in the middle of some of the best eating and drinking in the city so picnics are a breeze. Speaking of breeze, whether or not Mark Twain actually said it the tales of San Francisco summers are true. I was warmer in March in the Panamint Mountains at 10,000 feet than I was with three layers of clothes and a wool blanket in that park. Thankfully Ian provided alcohol or my blood might have frozen in my veins. Apart from the cold it was really nice, next time I'm showing up early to build an igloo first.


  • At 5:32 PM, Anonymous jonathan Nolen said…

    I love that movie. Do you know if you saw the original 1989 version or the 1/2 hour longer director's cut? (I've only seen the original version, myself.)

  • At 6:17 PM, Blogger Alicia said…

    I couldn't say, it did seem extra long but that was probably just the arctic winds affecting my judgement.

  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous kristan said…

    I've only seen the long version...Too bad we can't all get together and discuss. I


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Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Mars Volta

I headed over to Berkeley last night to see The Mars Volta in concert. I hereby renounce all claim to knowing what is hip. The Greek Theater was packed, probably 12,000 people. Who would have predicted that a heavy experimental psychedelic freakout en Español would be commercially viable? Not me. It was an interesting crowd, a mix of college indie kids, metalheads (a surprising number of metalheads), and aging audiophiles. The hairstyles were spectacular. When I was in college it was decidedly uncool to spend that kind of time, effort and money on your hair, but I guess we still had the shadow of grunge hanging over us more than we suspected.

The band was spectacular. They played for two and a half hours, no breaks, no encore, no between song chatter. This stands in stark contrast to the Lou Barlow and Low shows I saw a month or so ago, neither of which had a set list and so about half the show was spent listening to the musicians try to figure out what to play next. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed both of those shows a lot but they were very low key shows that emphasized how just-like-us the musicians were. These guys are Rock Stars. Cedric has Prince-like stage presence, and I don't say that lightly.

Go see them.


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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Weekend recovery, day two

I'm still struggling a bit to recover from the sleep deprivation and all-around good times of last weekend, but luckily I have the time. I've made a pledge to uphold the "what happens in Portland, stays in Portland" rule, so I'll just mention a couple of the more interesting places we visited and leave out what exactly we did there. Ahem.

Eleni's Estiatorio - Both elegant and fun, and the food lived up to the hype. I'm not sure if they stay open past close and pour free shots of Ouzo for all their customers, but I can guarantee that if you bring eight attractive women in party clothes the service will be outstanding.

The Kennedy School - An elementary school-turned-pub, with a movie theater in the auditorium, pizza in the teacher's lounge, and bars in the classrooms. You can even stay the night in someone's old homeroom. Word to the wise: anyone canoodling in the soaking pool is visible from the hallway.

The Doug Fir - Currently the hippest hot spot in Portland, the Doug Fir somehow makes the combination of ultramodern and log cabin work. Plus they continue the fine Portland tradition of bar/restaurant/club/motel one-stop evenings. Which could come in handy after a few of their mint juleps, served in pint glasses.


  • At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    Dude! I just read about that place (Doug Fir) in some design magazine. Or website. Or somewhere. Of course, I can't find it now. But I can't believe you guys went. I'm so jealous.

  • At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Jonathan Nolen said…

    Ah ha! Found it! Look at Gridskipper


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